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Giant Squid - The Ichthyologist CD (album) cover

THE ICHTHYOLOGIST

Giant Squid

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.60 | 57 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars This being the first album I heard from this American band, I did not know what to expect given the Post-Metal tag. The music here generally is not metal, it could almost fit in Eclectic. The most metal sounding parts are some of the guitar riffs. Even though this is not very metal, I can hear an influence from System Of A Down here. I haven't heard their first album yet so I don't know if it sounds any different. In addition to the guitars, bass, drums and keyboards, there is banjo and electric cello. Guest musicians play oboe, violin, flute and trumpet. There are guest female vocalists as well as the versatile singing of bandleader Aaron Gregory. The album was based on a concept of his.

Although the cover featured here is good, there is a better alternate cover showing a hand with a mouth and eyeballs on the end of the fingers. Cool looking. I have to admit this is one of those albums where I like it the more I hear it. The song titles are long with Latin subtitles (fake Latin?). "Panthalassa (Lampetra tridentata)" has a good marching snare drum. Nice trumpet in this song. The main heavy riff is not bad either. "Sutterville (Vibrio cholorae)" is a nice easy going light jazzy song. An effect is put on an overdubbed female vocal at one point, which is a nice contrast to the other vocals. Male and female wordless harmony vocals in the middle. Gets more 'rock' sounding near the end. Cricket noises to end it.

"Dead Man Slough (Pacifastacus Ieniusculus)" is a highlight. Love the guitar and Tom Waits-like vocals. Nice mix of electric guitar and banjo here. Good violin work. I like the break in the middle with the female vocals. We get a heavy riff near the end. "Sevengill (Notorynchus cepidianus)" has what sounds like a ship's horn blaring at the beginning, followed by guitar, vocals and drums. Basically a ballad. Nice flute during the 'chorus' part. Some great electric cello at one point. Gets louder and heavier near the end with some double-tracked female vocals. Ends with the sound of seagulls.

"Mormon Island (Alluvial Au)" is a slow-paced mellow song with no drums. Mostly female vocals, violin and electric cello. The song kind of drags on and brings the quality of the album down a bit. Nice banjo near the end, though. "Emerald Bay (Prionace glauca)" has the Tom Waits-style vocals again. The music is based around guitar strums. Some good electric cello in this song. "Rubicon Wall (Acipenser transmontanus)" has a cool riff that starts almost halfway; it comes back later. I like the vocals during that riff. This song changes quite a bit and is one of the more interesting songs on the album.

This is a great album which surpassed my expectations. I'll have to check out their first album some time. It's nice to see modern bands attempting to do something different. The results can always vary of course, but here things generally work out for the best. I don't know who to recommend this to, but it's recommendable. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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